Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Brian Leiter"

Titel: Why Marxism Still Does Not Need Normative Theory
Autor: Brian Leiter
Seite: 23-50

Marx did not have a normative theory, that is, a theory that purported to justify, discursively and systematically, his normative opinions, to show them to be rationally obligatory or objectively valid. In this regard, Marx was obviously not alone: almost everyone, including those who lead what are widely regarded as exemplary `moral´ lives, decide and act on the basis of normative intuitions and inclinations that fall far short of a theory. Yet self-proclaimed Marxists like G. A. Cohen and Jürgen Habermas have reintroduced a kind of normative theory into the Marxian tradition that Marx himself would have ridiculed. This essay defends Marx’s position and tries to explain the collapse of Western Marxism into bourgeois practical philosophy, i.e., philosophizing about what ought to be done that is unthreatening to capitalist relations of production.

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The Normative Turn from Marxism
2015 (37) Heft 1

Marxism, both as a Western political movement and an intellectual focus of dispute, lost its academic appeal during the 1970s and 80s, foreshadowing the collapse of `actually existing´ socialism in the early 90s. Within what after the Second World War was called `Western Marxism´, there had been growing awareness of Marx’s early philosophy with its suggestive, if somewhat vague, ideas of a universally productive life and an ideal productive society. In contrast, the stock of (not only offici...

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